Skip to comments.John Derbyshire: Racial Heretic
Posted on 04/07/2012 6:46:31 AM PDT by Motherhood IS a career
John Derbyshire has set off a mini firestorm by responding to an article which details advice that black parents give their kids about coping with "White America", by giving advice to his own kids about coping with black America. And imagine White America's collective shock... he has been denounced for it as being racist. (actually I think it's ... "RACIST!!!")
Racism, as we know, is the ultimate liberal heresy. There are difference between black (ethno-African) Americans, and White (European) Americans which are obvious at a distance. And there are dramatic difference between the sub culture of Black America and the many Sub Cultures of white America. But secular liberalism, our religion of state, is based almost entirely on un-knowing things that are obvious. And noticing the differences between White and Black America is strictly off limits.
That something is obviously true is totally irrelevant to the discussion. If you call attention to one of these unutterable facts you will be shunned. And since John Derbyshire has done that very thing, there are already those out there demanding his head on a plate. But it seems to me that it isn't just what John said in his piece that's causing an uproar - it's his tone as well. He's too 'matter of fact' about it. He states facts as if they are ... well... facts. He doesn't kowtow to the liberal establishment by stating how sorry he is to call attention to the points he raises - he just raises them. This, I suspect, is what's really getting under people's skin.
I think it's probably pointless to say this, in that it won't change anyone's mind about anything, but since John is my friend I'll go ahead and do it anyway. Like most of us, there are a great many things John cares about. He cares about his family of course and his home life. He cares about the fate of America, and the future world that his children will inherit. He cares about his dog, and his friends, and all the small things that we all value. But what he does not care about - not a whit as far as I have ever been able to tell, is race.
And that's mainly because there is something else that John cares about. He cares about the objective truth. He wants his personal view of the universe to be as accurate and verifiable as is humanly possible given the limits on his intelligence and his time. He wants his understanding of the world to be correct, in the same way that any scientist wants it. This gives his writing what I have referred to many times in the past as a "logical irreducibility." He boils down society and politics to its principle components, the same way that a mathematician would when analyzing a data set. The same way I often do in my work when examining the markets.
And that's the thing that I believe has really rattled the liberal cages. John has said things about race, which are objectively verifiable and absolutely true - but it is part of the liberal religion to never admit them. I'm not going to slice and dice too much. I'm quite sure there is no secret code in John's words. But I do think it serves a useful purpose to provide a few examples from his piece in takimag.
For instance, when he said :
The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, howevere.g., paragraph (10h) belowthis default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.
While the latter point about personal safety may leave a few more feeble liberals with the a sudden case of the vapors, (as will his reference to a "black" and not a "black American" or one of the more liberally appropriate monikers) I don't think anyone in the liberal intelligencia is too horrified by this obviously true statement. It's controversial, but not specifically heretical to the liberal religion. The very same can be said of his statement:
As with any population of such a size, there is great variation among blacks in every human trait (except, obviously, the trait of identifying oneself as black). They come fat, thin, tall, short, dumb, smart, introverted, extroverted, honest, crooked, athletic, sedentary, fastidious, sloppy, amiable, and obnoxious. There are black geniuses and black morons. There are black saints and black psychopaths. In a population of forty million, you will find almost any human type. Only at the far, far extremes of certain traits are there absences. There are, for example, no black Fields Medal winners. While this is civilizationally consequential, it will not likely ever be important to you personally. Most people live and die without ever meeting (or wishing to meet) a Fields Medal winner.
Every word of that is absolutely true in the strictest, most objectively verifiable sense of the word, especially the part about never wishing to meet a fields medal winner. And yet, there is something in the matter of fact tone that leaves your personal radar, finely honed after years of Al Sharpton being treated like a serious thinker, sending up a 'yellow alert'. You can almost see the liberal high priests stepping out from behind altar and calling the grand inquisitors over to listen to the rest.
Then John says a few things in public that every single white person in America already knows (including liberal America) but to my knowledge no one has ever said before in public. He basically tells his kids that if it can be reasonably avoided, they should stay out of black neighborhoods. Liberals will say "that's terrible" and then find a way to communicate the same idea to their children without specifically saying so (and will continue to avoid those neighborhoods themselves). But encouraging self segregation is definitely considered over the line to the liberal high priests. It's an open heresy.
But even so, given the tone of the day and the broader conversation currently ongoing about race relations with regard to the Trayvon Martin shooting, it might have been more or less forgiven but for what he comes right out and says next.
On page 2 of John's takimag piece, he performs the modern day equivalent of storming into the Vatican and declaring that the earth revolves around the sun. He calls direct attention to the following completely true, objectively verifiable and totally inescapable fact:
The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise.
This is an unspeakable thing to liberals. It's a direct and public acknowledgement of the central fact that they insist on un-knowing in all their dealings with black America. It's like holding a globally televised black mass in the Sistine chapel, or using a burning Koran to fry bacon before forcibly feeding it to the high mullah of Mecca. It's such a grand heresy that they cannot even refer to it directly while demanding that John be publicly burned as a racist ("RACIST!!!") for saying it. Liberals regard this point with such overt hostility, that it's entirely possible that in spite of all my writing on the topic of race, I will very likely be called a racist ("RACIST!!!") simply for mentioning it.
Is it true? Obviously yes. But that's not the point. In order for liberal fantasies about the virtue of "equality of outcomes" to be valid, it must be treated as untrue. And John isn't doing that. Keep in mind, when a liberal reads that paragraph they don't read unassailable facts. They read it as John Derbyshire stating his "opinion" that black people are inherently inferior to white people. To anyone who can read this without jumping to their own conclusions, this is obviously not the case. All he's done is pointed out a statistical fact. But liberals won't be able to see that for what it is. They can't help imposing their own value judgments over John's empirical evidence.
National Review's Rich Lowry, political creature that he is, is distancing himself and his magazine from John's piece. I personally think that's a mistake. Didn't Eric Holder say that we should begin having "An honest conversation" on race? Doesn't National Review believe that objectively verifiable and totally inescapable facts should be a part of that conversation?
In truth they probably do yes. But they may be making the tactical political decision that you can't win the argument if you aren't invited to the table. That's conjecture of course, I have no inside data on the decision makers at NR. But it would make some sense to me if they felt that way. And while they may have publicly denounced him, I don't believe they'll take liberal demands for John's head very seriously. Respecting the people I know there as I do, I have to believe they are smart enough to understand the value of the heretic, even if they don't want to participate directly in the heresy itself.
They've done it before - but I think it's clear to any fair minded person that John is more interested in discussing the truth in a compelling and thought provoking way than he is about "diminishing black people" or whatever the liberal fantasy is about his piece. In real life John Derbyshire isn't a racist in the liberal definition of the word. And surely that matters to the editors at National Review - who have not been free of baseless racism accusations themselves.
On the topic of race, John has elected to be the ultimate Heretic. By stepping forward and saying things that are totally forbidden to utter in liberal America but are none the less objectively verifiable as true, John has shown precisely the kind of courage I've come to expect from him. Certainly more than most of us (including me) could ever demonstrate. And it's one of the many reasons I'm proud to call him my friend. Even if you don't agree with him you have to admit that it was a very brave thing to come right out and say.
The truth is very much on his side of course, as it often is with heretics - especially when a religion has become as stunted and misshapen as modern liberalism has become. But the fact that he's speaking the truth may not stop them from burning him (or at least his career). What he's said is very controversial both in tone and content. Less so I think than the Black Panther's who put a price on the head of an innocent man. But it's liberals who run our grand inquisitors office, and they will decide who starts the fires and who is tossed into them.
My general response to pieces like this is: Lend me an editor!
I did poke around a bit over there, and they do seem to be high on the snark scale. I didn’t see anything like you mention, but I don’t doubt what you say.
I looked at the comments but the way they display them is dreadful. Every reply gets narrower and narrower and with a piece like this that’s getting hundreds of responses they quickly became just visually unreadable.
Prejudice is another word for generalization. We all make generalizations, adopt “stereotypes” as working models, because they work, give a generally accurate picture of the real world and they allows us to make useful decisions.
2012 racism = 1600’s witchcraft
Liberalism completely controls the dialogue and government in the country. You will speak proper thought or else...
And then some deride those "stereotypes" precisely BECAUSE they paint an accurate picture, but a picture which violates the impression that is to be promoted.
In the case of the Left, the promoted narrative is that we are all a product of our environments, that there is no genetic component to who we are. The reason for this narrative is that one of the Left's articles of faith is that humans are perfectible, that given the right environment and education anyone can be turned into the Perfect Leftist Person.
What, do you take stupid pills?
Yes, "to try". I think the raciss media lynching of George Zimmerman pretty much tears it.
We can be assured that Obama's campaign team of CBSNBCABCCNN will start race riots if they can.
"Dick" Holder would federally prosecute NBC if there was any honesty in Washington, District of Clowns.
Great article dissecting "The Narrative" and dweebs like Rich Lowry.
"The public scolding that National Review and other mainstream conservatives bestowed on John Derbyshire is absolutely despicable. They value the Narrative over honest debate and inquiry into whether or not Derbyshire's article was factually correct or not."
Well, J, let me ask you this, all empirical tests set aside for a moment. Since you’re so objective, would you — who begged your daughter not to go to Mexico — advise her to go hang out in Harlem, with a group of her white friends, after the sun goes down? If she was inclined to do that, would you have any feelings about that whatsoever? Or are you just a tad afraid that as a white girl, she’d be slightly more prone to harassment than a black girl her age? Just askin’...
>>What hundreds of millions of Americans intuitively understand is what they are forbidden from admitting: that blacks and browns commit crime at a disproportionate level relative to their population, that cities and neighborhoods without minorities are safer than those with them, and that it is best to avoid minorities that you don’t know personally. Everybody that has an IQ above freezing does this, whether they admit it or not. The fact that these columnists object to Derbyshire writing about warning your kids about reality is like strapping neon lights to a billboard that says: “We don’t care about the truth, we only care about towing the Party line!” <<
Common sense needs no “empirical” testing. It’s been tested through the ages.
Common sense is the result of empirical tests. We believe what we experience.
I really don’t want to get into an argument with you, but I feel like you are not reading what I am posting.
I have not said that Derbyshire was wrong in any of his particulars. I have merely said that I felt the tone of his piece is counter-productive and I’ve also questioned some of the “instructions” he gives his kids. In particular the ones about not helping black people in distress and making friends for false reasons.
You read the part that I wrote about Mexico, so didn’t you see the part where I told my kid she was not to date any black guys until she was well into adulthood?
My kid actually never had any interest in non-white guys, so that turned out to be a moot point, but you never know.
Here’s another story - we lived in the NYC metro area in NJ. There is a bus that ran from our town into Jersey City, where you could get the PATH train to NYC. During rush hours this bus is OK, because it goes express and doesn’t stop in Jersey City until it gets to the train station (or very near the train station, I forget).
But during non-rush hours it goes through the worst of the black ghetto of Jersey City, stopping locally. (There’s a local at rush hour too, but that starts in JC.)
So the kid asked me once could she take the bus with her friends to get the PATH and go into the city. (Or for some reason, the details aren’t important.) And I thought about it and then I said NO. I had taken that bus after rush hour a few times and believe me all the passengers, blacks and spanish people too, had some tense moments at times. Nothing ever actually happened, but who knows?
I told her: I can’t really let you do something that made me nervous the few times I’ve done it. She took no for an answer and she understood why.
So yeah, Derb is right, we do tell our children these things. I have never said otherwise.
Why? I’m very proud I’m white, very proud I’m Irish and now when I say I’m very proud I’m German you’re really going to think I am a neo-nazi, but I’m not.
Everybody else is supposed to have Black pride, Hispanic pride, etc, etc. But white people are supposed to be ashamed of themselves.
Well I don’t buy it.
I think all people should be proud of their heritage. All groups have bad in their past, but they have good too.
And what good does it do to be self-hating?
You can’t change your racial/ethnic background, so try and be a good example of your group.
At least that’s what they used to say, now I’m sure that’s considered very judgmental.
But anyway, I never could find a group like that, so I’ll just have to be proud on my own.
I am pretty sure that the reason there hasn’t been a lot of public defenses of Derb is not that what he said was beyond the pale, but rather, that anyone who defends him publicly is going to be cyber-lynched, too.
That’s just how it is.
>>”Thats just how it is.”<<
And that’s just wrong.
To some extent (perhaps a very small extent) a similar experiment has actually been conducted. Compare and contrast Liberia and Australia.
“And Im not offended when people say that women, on average arent good at math and science. Because its true.”
Actually it’s not true. “On average” women have as much ability as men. The math and science abilities of both men and women are distriubted along normal curves — just not the same curves. The distribution for men is wider than for women. That is, there are more men at the extreme ends of the distribution, than there are women. Both ends.
That was the point Larry Summers was trying (so badly) to express. The evidence shows that there are more men at the extreme ends. To be a Harvard science or math prof — you have to be at the extreme high end of ability. (Clearly, that rule doesn’t apply to their law school.) Significantly more men than women have that level of ability. Conversely, more men than women are at the extreme low end of ability.
More men than women qualify to be Harvard science profs. OTOH, the vast majority (over 99.9%) of men don’t qualify either.
In the range where most of us fall — women and men are almost equally matched. There are as many women as men, who are “good”, even “very very good” at math and science. There are just more males than females at the extreme “Harvard prof” end of the scale. (Just as there are more men that have to be kept in quite different institutions, because of their very low cognative abilities.)
(FWIW, I’m a male. Demonstrably well above average ability in math — but not Harvard science prof good.)
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